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'Stunned' owner of Maximum Security vows appeal, says horse won't race in Preakness

Elisha Fieldstadt
Key Points
  • The co-owner of Maximum Security, the horse that crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified, said Monday that he was stunned by the decision and plans to file an appeal with the state racing commission.
  • "We were stunned, shocked, and in total disbelief," Gary West said in an exclusive interview on "Today." "The appeal has to be filed within 48 hours so we’ll be filing that today."
  • West also said on "Today" that Maximum Security would not be competing in the Preakness Stakes on May 18.

The co-owner of Maximum Security, the horse that crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified, said Monday that he was stunned by the decision and plans to file an appeal with the state racing commission.

"We were stunned, shocked, and in total disbelief," Gary West said in an exclusive interview on "Today." "The appeal has to be filed within 48 hours so we'll be filing that today."

West also said on "Today" that Maximum Security would not be competing in the Preakness Stakes on May 18.

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"I think there's no Triple Crown on the line for us," West said. "And there's no reason to run a horse back in two weeks when you don't have to."

Stewards on Saturday determined that the horse dangerously impeded the paths of others, and Country House was declared the winner. It was the first time in the Derby's 145-year history a horse was disqualified for action during the competition. In 1968, the initial winner was later disqualified over a drug test.

"I think this is something that is big enough that the entire racing world is looking at this and they deserve an opportunity to really know what was going on," West said, adding that the stewards refused to take questions after making their unprecedented decision.

"They've been about as non-transparent about this whole thing as anything I've ever seen in my life," he said.